*What a fun little flick
Super spy Lance Sterling and scientist Walter Beckett are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is not. But what Walter lacks in social skills he makes up for in smarts and invention, creating the awesome gadgets Lance uses on his epic missions. But when events take an unexpected turn, Walter and Lance suddenly have to rely on each other in a whole new way. And if this odd couple can’t learn to work as a team, the whole world is in peril.
Well folks it is January and you know that usually means it is time to dump the bad movies from the studio out. Well do not tell Blue Sky Studios that because they are coming out hot with their new Animated action movie Spies in Disguise. Blue Sky of course has made noise in the past with their Ice Age and Rio Franchises but they have quietly built up a nice little resume for themselves.
Spies in Disguise is another in the line of movies for them where you just come out with a smile on your face no matter how predictable their movies might be. Sure they are not doing anything crazy revolutionary, but they are making really good and enjoyable movies, that’s all a studio should be asked to do. Let’s get to the Animation grades shall we?
Animation – A-
Every scene in this movie felt like it was a different color and a different set piece that made you feel like it felt distinct. All the different inventions looked really cool and kept every kid in my theater excited and engaged throughout. However I will say just animating Will Smith, Rashida Jones, and Tom Holland to look like themselves is pretty easy, so points off.
Voice Cast – A
As said above we had Will Smith just being Will Smith, Tom Holland as the fun sidekick, and Rashida Jones as the classic detective following the wrong lead. Ben Mendelsohn obviously doing his thing as the sly villain, and were rounded out with scenes from Reba McEntire, Rachel Brosnahan (MRS. MAISEL!), Karen Gillan. Everyone had fun moments and really brought the emotion to their characters as well.
Music – B
I absolutely loved the old school spy movie intro, but that was about all they had to offer song wise. There was a Will Smith rap at the beginning but the score did not hit like I thought it would. It felt oddly triumphant at weird times when I just wanted it to feel like a spy or action movie. I am still thinking about that intro though and makes me nostalgic for movies like that.
Story – C+
The story here was extremely formulaic, it was executed well though. You have the intro of our heroes and villains at the beginning, then the chaos starts. Our super spy gets turned into a pigeon and has to learn how to be a more humble spy. He does that by meeting a young “weirdo” who shows him how to fight crime in more positive ways then just killing people. The one aspect I did enjoy is how much I felt for the pigeon squad even though you did not understand what they were saying.
The story is unsurprising and as I said formulaic, but every beat is well crafted and it is enjoyable for the most part.
*A couple other tidbits
- I thought it was interesting how they modeled most of the characters after what they look like in real life.
- Loved Tom Holland’s character as a little kid, really cute.
- I laughed at serious string.
- There is a very bad Millennial joke near the beginning of the movie.
Even with a familiar story and Will Smith just being himself, this turned out to be a really fun spy story. The kids in my laughter were having a great time and they set up a sequel of course, which if they make i would be happy to watch.
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